Pros Easy to set up with newer routers; Watch recorded shows or live TV away from home; Great for travelers
Cons Requires a boradband connection at BOTH ends, at home and away.
Summary This is a terrific invention. No hard drives, no subscription fees. Simply connect SlingBox between your TiVo or ReplayTV and your broadband router (also works with cable or satellite box).
Install the SlingBox software on your laptop, connect to the internet from anywhere in the world (broadband connection REQUIRED) and you can watch your favorite live or recorded programs.
I give the SlingBox a "10." HOWEVER, if your internet connection is slow, SlingBox will be a terrible disappointment.
I've used it on the road even in China to watch my favorite shows recorded on ReplayTV back in Texas. I used it to watch live coverage of Hurricane Katrina and watch live Texas Longhorn football.
I highly recommend the SlingBox.. but just know that you HAVE TO HAVE a FAST connection to make it work as advertised.Updated
SlingBox works with not only TiVo and ReplayTV, but with VCRs, DVD players, cable and satellite receivers. SlingBox does NOT have its own tuner, but it can control (via IR Blaster) almost any audio/video device.Updated
I bought my SlingBox and added it to my home network. Now when I travel, I open my laptop, log in and watch local TV as if I were at home on the couch.
My SlingBox at home is connected to my ReplayTV (like a TiVo - only better), but you can hook it up to just about any Audio/Video device that can be controlled by a remote: VCR, TiVo, DVD, Satellite or cable box, even a TV set that has A/V outputs.
On a recent trip to China, for example, I connected my laptop to a high speed internet connection in my hotel room, logged on to my SlingBox back in Texas and watched the Longhorns beat Oklahoma.
I never missed an episode of 60 Minutes, Dateline or Lost. I also kept up with local news back home.
The SlingBox software on my laptop is simple and easy to use. When the program starts up, there's a remote control that looks just like the remote that came with my ReplayTV (it will look different depending on which device you have). I hit the remote's power button and instantly my ReplayTV back home comes to life. I can then select to watch live TV or choose to see a recorded program.
I can even program my ReplayTV by using the SlingBox, just by using the virtual remote control on my laptop.
When I'm finished, I click the power button on the virtual remote and the ReplayTV turns off.
The only performance issue I can report is that the signal will become choppy if you do not have a HIGH SPEED internet connection on BOTH ends (at home and away).
It's a great device. I highly recommend it for travellers wanting to enjoy their favorite shows while on the road. And best of all, there are no fees involved.
Pros easy to use, watch your local TV anywhere
Cons don't expect a perfect picture
Summary Really nice when you travel far from home. Worth every penny.
Don't expect the same quality picture as in your living room.
I watched my local cable channels from Hong Kong and mainland China last month. I couldn't believe the content made it through the Chinese internet police.
Due to my connect speed -- the slingbox was not good for action movies, but was great for local news and regular non-high-action shows.
It was amazing to change channels from half way around the world -- and it only took seconds.
Found the picture clarity better when I used a TV as a monitor(rather than on my laptop screen).
Pros Easy setup with my wireless router (54g)
Cons A long wait for the product
Summary After following this thing since CES I finally found one - the last one - at CompUSA in San Francisco. It took no time at all to hook up, but make sure you read the box. I had to also buy a pair of powerline ethernet adapters because of the setup in my apartment.
I spent most of the afternoon showing people in the office how I can now watch my Tivo from the laptop and they were blown away. The video quality was very good too. Some of the reviews I've seen are a little critical of the video, I'm watching the Tivo IN MY HOUSE. How cool is that!
This may be a whole new idea for Starbucks, latte and TV (Sling are you listening?).
Pros Watch live or recorded TV from anywhere in the world, easy to setup
Cons Price is $250 (although worth every penny)
Summary Both the hardware (SlingBox) and the software (SlingPlayer) work great. None have crashed in almost a week of use. Here's how I have used it:
1) Laptop in backyard, watched Brazilian soccer and the Giants beat the Dodgers while writing a few articles for my blog.
2) Watched the Giants beat the Dodgers again in my "office at home" while writing some code. My VGA has an S-VIDEO out option. Went to Circuit City and bought a TV and I can now watch anything full screen while having the Slingplayer minimized. This rocks!
3) While cooking some good spaghetti, placed the laptop on the kitchen counter and watched "Six Feet Under". I think I'll cook a bit more now that I've got any show, including live Baseball/Football.
4) Went to my buddy's place, and installed the Slingplayer on his XP. He was amazed at how well it works. He travels a lot to Korea, so he'll be getting one on Monday!
5) Went to my Mom's and showed her how cool this is. She likes the French channel, so she'll be watching it a few programs I recorded on one of the three ReplayTVs we have. The streaming from one ReplayTV to another works great, and the streaming from the "Slinged" ReplayTV to my Mom's DSL worked without a glitch. I think I'm going to have to buy a second Slingbox since my Mom will probably be using it a lot.
Going to the Microsoft PDC in September and there are some critical World Cup qualifiers then - thank God for Slingbox!!
Pros Great Audio/Video - Fantastic Features - Favorites
Cons Can Only Use Device On One Computer At A Time
Summary Well, I've only been using it for about 2 days now and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised and 99% satisfied! (1% is lost on the fact that only one computer can use it at a time.)
The quality is top-notch! I thought it might be pixelated, jerky, or buggy - but it isn't. It flows and runs like a regular TV. It just feels like you're watching TV.
Let me also mention all of the features that it has:
* You can watch TV with a full screen and either have the remote on the screen, or not.
* You can hit a button and it will automatically dock to one side of the screen and re-adjust the size of your other windows. And then, you can even fine tune and adjust the size of that window.
* If you just want it to be on your screen and not be docked, you can do that and adjust that screen size as well.
* You can also create a list of favorite channel icons, so all you do is click onto your favorite channel's icon. If the icon doesn't exist - you can create your own!
* It also works with channels like HBO On Demand and with TiVo as well (however, I don't have TiVo).
* If your workplace has a firewall, you can access your home computer using your home computer's IP Address.